Saturday, January 29, 2011

Project 52: Week 4 - Soothing Repetition

This week's theme was a toughie. The only thing I could come up with was a cup of coffee which I have every morning and you could say it soothes me. Here it is...

Soothing Repetition

...and no, I don't make weak coffee. I put the creamer in first (saves a spoon)!

Friday, January 28, 2011

At the Moment...

Hello Friday. Thank you for being sunny. Sunshine truly warms my soul!

At the moment...

I'm enjoying a cup of coffee, a clean house, and clean hair!

My house is almost completely organized. Only the garage and huge stack of magazines is left to sort through and I feel oooooooooooh so much better about it!

I'm looking forward to begin the redecorating process of my dining room which will hopefully kick off a full blown paint session for the rest of the house as well.

My son is finally beginning to entertain himself a little better on his own and it's allowing me a little bit more normalcy and me time which I have dearly missed.

I finally finished my 2010 year in review album and it looks awesome!

And I'm looking forward to this exciting shipment that should arrive today...

Hopefully it will provide many hours of entertainment! What are you enjoying at the moment?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Little Scattered

Yesterday was a long day. For some reason our wonderful baby who had been sleeping through the night decided to stop over the weekend and wake up 3 times a night now. He also decided that he only wanted to take a 45 minute nap during the days and scream through the other 3 hours. It makes for a long day and a scattered mommy brain.

He is so precious but sometimes I feel like I might just lose it. For example...I decided to take a few minutes and tackle our tax returns yesterday which are normally simple, but this year we have some complicated relocation stuff that we have to deal with and just as I had gotten into deep thought...he decides its time to have a scream fest. I wanted to have a scream fest to. And I might have just let out a couple. Is that wrong? No that's normal...surely. Agh.

Then he surprises me and lets me eat dinner last night without interruption. He slept in this morning and I got a shower, a cup of coffee, and breakfast. He entertained himself for over an hour on the floor. Amazing. His baby smiles melt my heart and it suddenly makes up for the times I feel like I might bash my head into the wall.

I'm learning a lot about patience, a lot about balance, and a lot about selflessness. It's not an easy journey, but it is one I wouldn't trade for the world.

We've come a long way in 3.5 months. I used to pray that I would just make it till daylight and a cup of coffee. I can still be found wearing the same clothes for 3 days, showers don't come as often as they used to, and dinner might not be as spectacular, but the house is fairly clean, clothes are getting washed, and I am beginning to be able to complete projects again...slowly but surely.

Life might be normal one day....but really...what is normal anyways?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 52: Week 3 - Shades of Grey

I never know where I will find Ethan these days when I go to get him in the morning. He has been waking up a happy camper lately talking to himself for over an hour before it's time for him to get up. This is the image I captured when I snuck up on him one morning this week. I'm going to have to do this more often! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Accessories

Alrighty so now that you know about my favorite cloth diapers, I'd like to share my favorite accessories that I like to use with my cloth diaper system.

A good laundry detergent is a must have for cloth diapers. Dreft doesn't cut it here. Cloth diapers need to have special detergent in order to protect their absorbency. There are several out there, but I ended up choosing between Charlies Soap and Allen's Naturally. I finally decided on Allen's after reading several reviews that said Charlies Soap causes skin allergies for some babies. Unfortunately I didn't find any detergents I could buy locally, but I did find that had the best prices.

As far as other laundry'll need a trash can liner that you will just toss in the wash with your diapers and a wet bag for on the go. They have really cute designs most any diaper site and they really are easy to use.

Another must have is the diaper sprayer. I love that it blasts the poo off my diapers to keep them stain free (I'm still not sure why I really bother - they are diapers after all) but you do have to be careful when spraying. The water force is strong! It will blast poo all over your toilet if you aren't careful! It is a necessary evil though once you switch to formula (hello playdough thick green poo).

As I mentioned...cloth diapers are sensitive when it comes to their absorbency, with that said you can't use just any old diaper cream. Alot of them will stain and will eventually make the fleece repel. Ethan's behind is super sensitive and although cloth diapers do reduce diaper rash, Ethan still gets it every now and then. The cloth diaper approved diaper lotion I use is California Baby's Diaper Rash Cream. Love it! You can buy it at Target or Babies R US.

Okay now for the optional stuff.

I really didn't think I would go this far when I started, but I now use cloth wipes. Ethan's bootie is super sensitive and he would scream anytime I used regular wipes. I also figured out it was easier in the long run just to use the cloth and throw them in the laundry with the diapers instead of having a separate trash can for the wipes. I found Swaddlebees Cloth Wipes to be my favorite (check out Jillian' They are the smallest kind I could find and they are plenty big enough!

Now you need something to spray on the wipes to get everything smoothly off...Kissaluv's Diaper Lotion Potion is the stuff. You can mix a couple of squirts in with distilled water for a diaper spray or you can mix a larger amount in with some Witch Hazel to help cure diaper rash issues.

I hope this is helpful and if you have any more questions definitely ask away...

Happy Bootie Cleaning!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Update

Way back when I was still preggo with Ethan I blogged about all the different cloth diapers I bought to try out once he got here. Well he's here now...(like you haven't noticed)...and I've made my decision as to which works for us and which doesn't.

First we will start with the ones I didn't like.


Imse Vimse

These both required diaper covers and let's just say they made my baby's butt look HUGE!!! It was ridiculous and I thought if I made him wear them it would ruin his back forever.

It felt like a big ordeal to put two items on him as well. Although Kissaluvs got awesome reviews for newborns...I just simply disagreed.

Now for my loves!


Bum Genius

My ultimate favorite are the Fuzzibunz mainly because the snaps won't wear out like the velcro will over time (mine hasn't yet, but I plan on using these for multiple babies) and because they take a lot less time to try since the pad separates. You do have to stuff the Fuzzibunz, but it's really not that huge of a deal.

Unfortunately they aren't making the bum genius all in ones anymore, but the good news is there are still some left at low, low prices AND they are switching them over to something more like the Fuzzibunz. YAY!

The reason I still buy both, is because the grandparents and Michael both prefer the ease of using velcro.

As for sizing...we lasted in XS until Ethan turned 3 months old. I noticed we needed to change him over when he started leaking alot. The XS are cut lower to protect their umbilical cord when they are a newborn so he started leaking once he started getting longer...his crack almost started showing! Now we are in size small and will be in that for the long haul so they say. I do have a couple of mediums just in case.

As for the one size fits doesn't. It looks ridiculously huge. I prefer a trimmer fit so the perfect sizes worked out better for us.

As for how they perform. Leaking isn't a problem...we have some every now and then, but I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary. If we've been holding him on his side for a long time, we might have some leaks out the leg holes, other than that. No issues. I have 11 diapers and wash them about every day and a half so that will give you a rough idea of how many changes I go through. At night time I simply double stuff a Fuzzibunz and he lasts from 8pm to 8am with no problem. The only time I've discovered mild leaks is if he has taken a huge poop then peed on top of that.

I love that there is no waste. The washing isn't a big deal. I feel better about life knowing I'm not cluttering the landfills. I also love that I'm not having to buy diapers every week and I'm saving money long term.

Want to know where to get are the stores I found with the best deals.

Jillian's Drawers - I get most of my accessories here which I will post on shortly...also this is the best place to try for first timers because you can send back what you don't like...USED! How awesome is that? And yes, I did that!

Cotton Babies - Cheapest place to buy Bum Genius with free shipping.

Fuzzibunz Store - Cheapest place to buy Fuzzibunz also with free shipping.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Breather

This weekend my husband and I actually had some alone time. My mom kept Ethan overnight for the first time Saturday night. It was a very odd feeling not having him around.

I have to say she is probably the only person I would trust him with at this point. Well maybe I should rephrase that...the only person whom I wouldn't worry about having him overnight. I called and checked in numerous times. He was fine and happy of course. I missed him, but it was nice having some alone time and being just us again.

We had a mostly lazy weekend. We went to a mantinee on Saturday and saw The Dilemma. It was funny, but I'd suggest renting it instead. It wasn't good enough for the $7.50 a piece matinee cost. But then again, I'm really hard to impress when I have to spend $20 at the movie theater. For that price it better be damn good...but I digress.

We continued with a nap, a glass of wine, some Every Word games on the Kindle, and a Predators hockey game. Sunday we slept in and had a gigantic breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to my moms to pick up the boy.

It was great and I look forward to doing it again soon. I feel refreshed and like a better mommy and wife. Sometimes you just need a mini mommy break to make things right again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project 52: Week 2 - Baby it's Cold Outside

This week's theme for Project 52 was "Title of a Song". It was a snowy week here so I thought I would document it with this picture.

Baby It's Cold Outside 

Hope it's warm where you are.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Patience for Perfection

I've been struggling lately.

January is a time of renewal for me. It's a time I strive to change my life in positive ways. I set high goals for myself and can't wait to dive in.

Unfortunately I'm easily frustrated and stress when I can't do those things I've set out for myself. I've had a perfect vision of how my life should be in my head and when I don't live that out everyday...I feel like a failure.

It's just another adjustment that the path of motherhood is taking me on. Last year I could reorganize my WHOLE house in a week or two. I'd try a new recipe every night. I'd read before bed and maybe finish a book or two a month. Now it takes me a week to reorganize one closet if I'm lucky, cooking...psh please, and reading consists of baby books and maybe a page or two of a fun read.

Goals that use to be realistic just aren't anymore. I need to have patience with myself. I know I will get back to that old self one day, but today I've got lots of challenges on my plate. I think I just need to strive to find balance. It's going to take time to figure out how my old life fits into my new one.

And sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and enjoy the chaos.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ethan's 3 Months Old!


This past month has been an exciting one for you! You are now officially in 3 month clothing and wearing size small cloth diapers. It was a sad day for me when I boxed up all your newborn stuff. It goes to quick!

You also had your first shots this month with your new doctor. Thankfully they were quick, but you didn't like them very much. Your weight at the last appointment, which was about 3.5 weeks ago, was 10.5 pounds and you were 23.75in long! I'm sure it's changed dramatically since then!

At the beginning of the month I started supplementing your bottles with formula because you were out drinking me. Now we have fully switched to formula and your tummy is not liking it one bit. We are on our 4th type which hopefully will be okay with you! To date you are drinking 6oz four times a day.

You have been upstairs in your big boy crib for most of the month. You slept straight through the night from 8pm to 8am for 2 weeks straight! I was soooooo happy and so was daddy. However, after getting off your schedule during Christmas and the formula problems, this has changed. You now go to bed at 8pm then wake up around 3am then 5am then we fight sleep until at least 730. I'm working hard to get you back on your schedule though and look forward to those 12 hour stretches of sleep in the near future!

You've had some big first this month. You went to your first kiddie birthday party, had your first Christmas, saw your first snowflakes, and you met your first baby friends. You are extremely alert now and love to talk to us. You are able to pick up some toys now and even put them in your mouth. You love watching T.V. and you hate tummy time, but we are working on your head control in the Bumbo seat. 

You are a busy little bee and I'm looking at getting you the dreaded activity station that I said I would never get because it's so huge and takes up so much precious house space. I love you that much though! Just know that!

I just can't get over how much you grow and learn every single day. I am so lucky to be able to watch this all take place and be a part of it. You really are the joy of my life!

I love you!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Project 52: Week 1 - Around the House

I've always wanted to do Project 365 but knew there was no way I would keep up with it. I'm terrible with following through on stuff like that. Maybe because I like to do what I want to do and when you do something like that it feels more like a "have to" than a "want to". I'm hoping I can manage once a week though! We shall see.

Just yesterday I sat down with my camera manual and challenged myself to learn some new things. I saw the Project 52 idea on Love and Marriage and thought this would be a great way to practice and really get better at using my Rebel.

So here we go....Week 1 - Around the House.

It's January, which around here means reorganization. The closets are disaster areas and I'm ready to drag everything out, sort it, toss it, and reorganize it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It Was A Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

One of my favorite childhood books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This is my version.

Ethan decided to NOT sleep through the night after 2 weeks straight of doing so causing both me and my husband to oversleep...I could see that it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I didn't get to drink my coffee, the house was a disaster area, there were still boxes of Christmas decorations sitting out and the baby photographer was coming the next day. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

After 3 days of not showering I finally got the opportunity to take one. The baby decided to start crying in the middle of it and didn't stop crying until two hours later causing my hair to dry in a very weird way. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I think I'd like to take a trip to Australia.

I was in desperate need of some adult conversation after several days of just me and the baby. No one answered. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I began cooking dinner and discovered that the gallon sized zip lock bag of chilled vegetable salad had leaked all over my refrigerator. I tried to clean it up and saw that it had soaked through the pie crust that I needed for dinner but decided to use it anyway.

The mozzarella cheese was expired too and my husband broke my dishwashing gloves that I use at least 5 times a day. It was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. I figure I wouldn't have to cook any dinners or clean any bottles if we took a trip to Australia.

Day 3 of the 30 day shred proved almost too much for me and I thought I was going to pass out. I can no longer make it up and down the stairs without looking like I have some kind of disability.

The baby decided to keep crying through the night and also be grumpy this morning for our 3 month session with the baby photographer. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I want to go to Australia.

My husband says some days are just like that.....even in Australia.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Will 2011 Hold?

Each year I come up with resolutions for myself. I always need to lose some pounds and be a little healthier, but really I try to concentrate on something bigger. 2009 I focused on learning to let go, 2010 was about becoming a happier person. I feel like it takes a whole year to even begin changing your life and I believe I have done it and that's why I take my new years resolutions so seriously. I try to pick the one thing that has really brought me down that year and try to fix it and make it better.

2010 was truly a transitional year for us. Job changes, a move, a new house, rekindled relationships, a pregnancy, and of course a baby. I feel like I have finally gotten to where I want to be in life and now I just need to learn how to excel in it and that is essentially my goal for this coming year.

In 2011 I would like to learn to become a wonderful mom and wife. I want to reveal in the moments that pass by so quickly with Ethan and not take anything for granted. I want to begin learning what it's going to take to balance Ethan time, Michael time, and me time.

I want to become a better housewife - have a cleaning routine, at least 3 home cooked meals a week, and perfect the art of being frugal to make sure I can remain at home. I want to constantly remember how lucky I am to have the job I have and remember what I learned in 2010 and my happiness project. I also want to take my 2009 goals with me and remember to roll with the punches when things inevitably don't go as planned.

I feel my goals are fairly simple this year because I truly have no idea what this year will hold. It is a whole new way of life for me to experience this year and I can't wait. Bring it on!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday Wrap Up!

Shew, the holidays are over! What craziness! It's been about 2 weeks since my last post so I'll do my best to sum up things as quickly as possible so we can move on and immerse ourselves in the new year. I'd skip it entirely if I could, but since it's Ethan's first Christmas, I couldn't imagine not documenting it through the blog!

We'll start at the beginning with the Christmas tree. Our tradition is to chop one down ourselves every year and of course we wanted Ethan to experience it this year. After finally finding a Christmas tree farm in our new hometown, meeting the owner, and Santa we walked out to the trees, saw in hand, to find our perfect one. Unfortunately that's when I remembered it was spruces and firs that I loved....not pines and cypresses.

Thankfully, Old Time Pottery had pre-cut trees that were perfect for us! Oh well, there's always next year for the Christmas tree farm experience.

Decorating took two whole days this year instead of the usual half day it used to take. Having a newborn makes everything take at least 3 times longer than you think it would to begin with. Ethan hung his first Baby's First Christmas ornament....I think we ended up with at least 5 by the end of the season.

We couldn't forget our fur baby...Lola had one as well. This is technically her second Christmas, but we didn't have our own tree last year since we were living with dad. We found this cute Westie ornament in San Francisco last year.

After all the Christmas tree farm disappointment, a broken tree stand, and numerous newborn meltdowns we finally got the tree up and decorated.

The rest of the house also got decorated, both inside and out. Just remembering now that I didn't take a picture of the outside. We have to add on more stuff next year - we are definitely lacking compared to the rest of the neighborhood.

Ethan's stocking did not get made this year, but will in the near future...I have already purchased the materials. One of my favorite additions to the decor this year is that cute little Gingerbread advent calender house that my mom got for Ethan. My grandmother always did one with us and I can't wait to share the tradition with my kids.

And now let us begin the Christmas madness........

First up was Christmas brunch with mom the weekend before actual Christmas. Ethan was amazing yet again. People can't stop saying what a happy baby he is - thank you very much! He was showered in gifts this whole season of course, but his number one gift here was some silver coins given to him by my stepfather and the Yookido Crawl and Go Snail (can't wait until he's old enough for this one!)

Immediately following brunch, was lunch with my mom's side of the family where Ethan got to hang out with his Great-Grandmother again and mommy got to enjoy homemade boiled custard...yum!

Then it was time for Christmas dinner with Michael's side, followed by breakfast the next day with more Ethan gifts (we are up to our eyeballs in toys right now!), and then lunch to celebrate two December birthdays in Michael's family. And yes, I've gained 20 pounds by now!

Here's a picture of Michael's dad with Ethan. He's a grumpy old man who hates gifts (don't worry, he knows I say this about him and he agrees) I gave him popcorn balls this year and some other goodies. I think he liked it. Ethan gave us a present as well....poop up to his chest in his cute Christmas outfit...we are adding baby wash to the list of things to bring for an overnight stay.

Now we are up to the week of Christmas. That Tuesday we celebrated with my dad's side. I managed to make my traditional tiramisu even after burning the frozen pound cake in the microwave (blaming that one the mommy brain). Apparently there is a big difference between 10 minutes and 10 seconds per serving!

Everything else went swimmingly. Ethan got passed around...I barely saw him. Thankfully we remembered to get a family shot (something we have to get better at remembering)!

I cooked most of the day on Christmas Eve. Here's a scene from the kitchen that day that sums everything up. Chrissy is holding Ethan (you can barely see his feet), Dad was enjoying a beer, my kitchen was a mess with food, and snow was falling outside to make a white Christmas that we haven't seen in 17 years.

Christmas morning came and all of the grandparents arrived to celebrate Ethan's first. I made brunch and handed them all framed pictures of Ethan's newborn session.

Ethan opened a couple of his presents and we recorded it all...I've got to figure out how to save that to the computer and share it.

After everyone left, we opened presents with my dad, sister, and her boyfriend. Michael gave me a kindle (whoopee!). It actually ended up being a very techy Christmas for us. We got ourselves a new pocket camera, Mom gave us an iPod touch, Michael gave me the Kindle, and Dad gave us an external hard drive to store all our thousands of pictures.

One of my favorite pictures every year...the Christmas destruction!

Now on to Christmas dinner with the annual prime rib roast. Unfortunately we forgot to purchase all the meat ingredients...I guess I was only focused on the sides and dad was only focused on the glorious piece of meat. all worked out though. You forget about the stores all being closed! Here's my table setting. One course at a time here!

This week we had some visitors from Knoxville. Ethan got to meet Nolan who is just two weeks younger than him. We all vacated together in Siesta Key over the summer (they just didn't know it!). They didn't notice each other too much, but there was some hand holding occurring on the activity mat!

After our visitors left, I managed to get our Christmas decor down in time for New Years Eve. Don't want to bring in the year with bad luck! We headed over to my Uncles that night to meet Ethan's 2nd cousin Eva from Minnesota. She's 3 months older than him and has such an inquisitive personality.

We celebrated New Years Eve on eastern time (we are technically on central time here) and went to bed early like true exhausted newborn parents. Then we headed out for our last holiday celebration to another Uncle's house to eat the good luck lunch of hog jowl, turnip greens, and black eyed peas. Yum! 

Shew...........that was fun, but exhausting.

I'm glad it's over and looking forward to what 2011 has to bring. Next up...goals for the New Year and a massive reorganization project! 
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